WILKINSON: The point Nine completely missed
LISA Wilkinson's departure from Channel Nine reveals one glaring thing about one of Australia's biggest news networks - it appears to be completely, ludicrously, out of touch.
Right now is a watershed moment.
In Hollywood, women are standing up to Harvey Weinstein, the most powerful producer in the business, with an avalanche of stars coming forward to detail allegations of sexual harassment against him.
At home, Channel Seven has been forced to defend its treatment of a young female intern after she complained about an older colleague, and was unceremoniously walked from a meeting.
Overseas, female BBC stars penned an open letter to the Director General after a pay disclosure report "showed what many of us have suspected for many years ... that women are being paid less than men for the same work."
"This is an opportunity for those of us with strong and loud voices to use them on behalf of all, and for an organisation that had to be pushed into transparency to do the right thing," said the letter signed by the likes of Fiona Bruce, Katty Kay and Alex Jones.
"We would be willing to meet you to discuss ways in which you can correct this disparity so that future generations of women do not face this kind of discrimination."
All around the world, the message has been clear. Women want the same jobs, money and rights as men, and they're not keeping quiet about it anymore.
It's understood Wilkinson's pay packet was about $1.1 million a year, less than the $2 million- $3 million Karl Stefanovic could have achieved if ratings targets were met.
While it's true he does film for 60 Minutes, the Today Show co-hosts sit at the same desk, day-in-day out, and are equal partners for all intents and purposes.
It could even be argued it's Wilkinson's boundless appeal and industry doyenne status that sheparded the show through Stefanovic's rocky breakup that had media executives fearing it could force female viewers to switch off.
Now, it appears she's been dropped because Nine weren't willing to dig deep enough.
Only more fool them because Wilkinson scored "another job in 45 minutes" as her husband Peter FitzSimons put it. Instead, women applauded her decision to walk if she wasn't getting what she deserved, and a leading Australian network missed an opportunity to retain one of its biggest stars and prove a point about equality at the same time.
"Lesson here about women and work: you won't pay, they won't stay," wrote Patricia Karvelas online.
Women in Media advocate Tracey Spicer said: "On behalf of #womeninmedia THANK YOU @Lisa_Wilkinson taking a stand over #equalpay as a role model for @WIM_Aus".
Suzanne Smith said: "R-E-S-P-E-C-T @Lisa_Wilkinson for taking a stand against the gender pay gap. You are a great role model for young women."
Lauren Ingram said: "Whatever @Lisa_Wilkinson was asking for in contract negotiations, she's worth twice as much. So disappointing that Nine couldn't see that."
Lesley Doig said: "Where to even start with this. So tiresome still reading these reports of unequal pay. Good move LW."
While Peter James perhaps put it best: "If they aren't willing to pay what you deserve especially with 10 years of 4am morning wake ups then they don't deserve you. Fk em!"
In Australia, the national reality is that women are paid 15 per cent less than men. Good on Lisa Wilkinson for refusing to be one of those statistics. And for using her voice to make it a little easier for the rest of us.